09/18/2014 11:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Powerful Video Shows Violence Against Women Goes Far Beyond Domestic Abuse

When it becomes difficult to see the flesh and blood beneath statistics, it helps to see the statistics written on flesh and blood.

That's precisely the approach Vox takes in a video posted on Sept. 17, four days after the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. Directed by filmmaker Joe Posner, the video reminds us just how broadly violence affects American women -- and how often it comes at the hands of those who claim to love them.

Embedded in a post frankly titled "It's incredibly dangerous to be a woman in America," the video displays rates of violent crimes against women in the United States.

Nearly one in four women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime -- totaling 1.3 million women a year. One in five women are victims of rape. In the United States, one in every 13 murder victims is a woman killed by her boyfriend or husband, Vox reports.

The statistics are not printed on paper or pixelated on a screen. They are scrawled across a woman's body, written in ink on bare skin.

Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act created landmark laws which strengthened the penalties against rapists and repeat sex offenders, ensured victims' protection and provided resources to law enforcement to identify and prosecute violent crimes against women. Between 1993 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence fell 67 percent, according to the White House.

As the video states, "We've made some progress... But not enough."

Today, 76 colleges and universities are under federal investigation for potential mishandling of sexual assault cases. Nearly 7 percent of women in the armed services have experienced unwanted sexual contact. There are 12 NFL players who have been arrested for domestic violence since 2005 playing this season.

When tasked to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act in 2012, Congress fought for more than a year over the extension of certain protections and the continued necessity of others before passing the act in 2013.

That year, 138 members of the House of Representatives voted against reauthorization of the version of the act that would pass.


We've made some progress. But not enough.



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